Do you ever feel like stress is literally making you sick? Every time you get a headache or your stomach starts to hurt, do you wonder if work deadlines or family dramas are to blame?
Yeah, we’ve all been there. You’re juggling too many things and start to feel overwhelmed. Your chest feels tight and your head is foggy. Suddenly, you realize you’re not feeling well. And you start to ask yourself, “Can stress make you sick?”
The answer is a loud and resounding yes.
And believe it or not, there’s actually some science behind that idea.
Researchers have found that chronic stress can lead to all sorts of health problems — from headaches and stomach issues to weight gain and even heart disease. So if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed out, it’s important to find ways to manage your stress levels before they start taking a toll on your health.
What Is Stress and How Does It Affect the Body?
Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. Everyone can get stressed from time to time. Anything from daily responsibilities to serious life events, such as death and sickness, can trigger stress.
Studies show that not all stress has a negative effect. In some cases, it can prepare your body to respond to stressful situations. But if your stress levels stay elevated longer than necessary for survival, it’ll take a toll on your health. Chronic stress is what makes you sick, and it affects wellbeing by causing physical symptoms such as:
Oftentimes, people don’t usually think that stress could be causing these symptoms. You might think other health conditions are to blame or perhaps you just shrug it off with some medicine. It’s crucial to recognize when your stress level is causing your discomfort so you can properly deal with it.
Signs That You’re Under Too Much Stress
Hustle culture is all the rage nowadays. Life just keeps getting busier and busier, and it almost feels like a crime to take a breather. As a result, being in a perpetual state of stress has become a norm for everyone. As our schedules get more hectic, we adjust to that lifestyle without even realizing that we seriously need to slow down.
You can spot telltale physical effects you’re under a lot of stress, even if you don’t feel frazzled. For example, you may develop jaw or tooth pain. You may also experience tension headaches and muscle tension.
Stress can affect how your body works as well. The most common effect of stress is difficulty sleeping regularly. Your body also starts releasing more digestive acid, leading to stomach problems. Additionally, you may experience delayed or prolonged periods.
Chronic stress can lead to long-term problems too, such as irritable bowel syndrome or heart disease. If you don’t relieve stress as needed, you may also experience the following stress effects:
- Your memory is shot.
- You can’t seem to quench your thirst.
- You find it hard to make decisions, big or small.
- You’re experiencing appetite or weight changes.
- You’re easily irritable.
- You can’t seem to enjoy anything.
- Easy tasks feel impossible.
- Your feelings of sexual desire has taken a dip.
- You have high blood pressure or an increased heart rate.
These symptoms affecting your physical health show just how powerful psychological stress can be. When your mental health suffers, your body experiences excessive stress too.
How to Manage Stress in Your Daily Life
Fortunately, there are many ways for stress management. But first, it would be helpful for you to identify what’s causing your stress in the first place. Assess your lifestyle and ask yourself if it is possible to lessen your workload and do things in a more leisurely manner.
Then, you can take the necessary steps to relax and destress. Some of the best ways to protect yourself from stress include:
- Regular exercise can help relax your mind and body.
- Stretching, take a bath, get a massage, drink green tea, etc.
- Practice breathing techniques.
- Meditate or make time for hobbies, such as reading or painting.
- Eat a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables.
- Find emotional support by talking to someone you trust.
- Schedule small breaks throughout the day.
- Get restful sleep.
As it turns out, it’s not just in your head — too much stress can literally make you sick. Take care of yourself, whether that be your body’s immune system, or your physical or mental health. To take care of the whole, you have to take care of every aspect.
But before you get too stressed out about this, take some time to watch our docuseries, Energy Healing Made Easy, where we explore how to manage stress and keep it from making you sick by healing your energy. If you’re looking for a little help managing your stress levels, this might just be the answer you’ve been searching for.